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Prazosin cuts rate of drinking in patients with alcohol use disorder

10 Sep 2018
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The α-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist prazosin appears to be an effective treatment for alcohol use disorder, according to a recent study.

“Prazosin holds promise as a harm-reduction pharmacologic treatment for alcohol use disorder and deserves further evaluation by independent research groups,” the authors said.

A total of 92 participants with alcohol use disorder but without post-traumatic stress disorder were randomized to receive prazosin or placebo in a 12-week double-blind study. Medication was titrated to a target dosing of 4 mg in morning and in the afternoon and 8 mg at bedtime by the end of week 2.

Medical management was the behavioural platform. Data on alcohol consumption were provided by participants daily. The authors assessed the impact of prazosin vs placebo on number of drinks per week, number of drinking days per week and number of heavy drinking days per week using generalized linear mixed-effects models.

Of the participants, 80 completed the titration and were included in the primary analyses. A significant association was seen between condition and week for both number of drinks and number of heavy drinking days. Participants in the prazosin condition had a greater reduction in the rate of drinking and the probability of heavy drinking compared with those in the placebo condition over time.

In addition, there was a higher incidence of drowsiness and oedema among participants in the prazosin vs the placebo condition.

“Current medications for alcohol use disorder do not target brain noradrenergic pathways. Theoretical and preclinical evidence suggests that noradrenergic circuits may be involved in alcohol reinforcement and relapse,” the authors said.

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 03 Jan 2020
Antibiotic resistance of Helicobacter (H.) pylori has more than doubled in Europe in the past two decades, raising alarm on the gravity of the issue of growing bacterial resistance to commonly-used antibiotics, a study presented at UEG Week 2019 has shown.
02 Dec 2019
Utilizing a clinical pharmacist specialist in a hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment clinic may help improve drug therapy management of HCV-infected patients treated with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), suggests a recent study.
Pearl Toh, 26 Sep 2019
The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has recalled eight brands of ranitidine products containing trace amounts of the nitrosamine impurity NDMA*, which is a potential human carcinogen.
2 days ago
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